Riker's Mailbox

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


***This post was written over the span of several days, I will do my best to identify discrete changes between them.***

It's a good day. Partied hard last night. I woke up early and worked, satisfying any vestigial need to feel productive on a weekend. I returned to bed for a delightfully peaceful nap. Awakening for the second time today, I'm at the computer, there's a bowl of egg noodles in my lap, a reggae remake of John Denver's "Leavin' on a Jet Plane" is pouncing between dendrites in a far-removed corner of my auditory memory banks, and I am going to see Star Wars Episode III for the second time tonight*.

Having already seen the film in accordance with a three-times-reinforced tradition of attending the 12:01am opening show (Return of the Jedi: The Remake, and those other two we don't like to talk about - I'll give you a hint, they rhyme with 'Schmepisodes I and II'), I can spoil all sorts of stuff, but I won't. There are two reasons I'm willing to take this journey twice: (1) It was a much better movie than both Schmepisodes I and II, and (2) among those attending is Laurali Kinsella**, a favorite among my Califriends (all of whom are favorites among my entire circle of friends; why the hell do you think I'm moving out there? For the weather?), who is in town on a rare Rochesterian visit for her lovely sister Shawna's*** RIT graduation. While I missed the chance to see their parents over the weekend, I'm certainly not going to miss hanging out with them. Much fun happens around those two. Anyway, I'm psyched. Oh, and another reason to see the movie again - I'll get a better view without the opening-day faithful taking all the best seats before I get there.

What a lousy day. Did absolutely nothing last night, save getting unbelievably frustrated with my car as I put parts of it... no... attempted to put parts of it back together. I went to bed with every intention of getting up early in the morning to work on it and ended up sleeping through the entire first half of the day - and haven't even felt the benefit of the additional slumber. Awakening far too late today, I'm at the computer, there's instant oatmeal stuck to the roof of my mouth, a fledgling headache is plotting an attack somewhere near the base of my skull, and my wallet is still missing after the fiasco with that godforsaken movie.

Ebb and Flow, I despise you sometimes.

*Not to say that the first time I saw it was also tonight; had I chosen to better word the sentence, it would be apparent that I meant "tonight will mark the second time I've seen the movie."

**I know I look really drunk in that picture, but I promise I was just tired.

***Shawna is the one on the left.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Possible assimilated words for the following presentation:

  • Photo Story - Phory
  • Blog Photos - Blotos
  • Blog Pictures - Blictures, Bloctures, or Blogtures
There were more, but I forgot them. I think Blotos has a really nice ring though...

So, without further ado, here are the blotos I took from the gas-leak incident highlighted in Post-Previous.

Lovely White RG&E truck...

...towing a lovely fireball yellow backhoe...

...to my lovely front yard...

...so it can destroy said yard...

...really badly.

REALLY badly.

Truly, madly, deeply, even, for you Savage Garden fans...

...so it may reveal an 89 year old piece of rusted house-exploding crap...

...that threatens to send me sky-high...

...unless it gets replaced by a silky plastic tube...

...in the hole in my front yard.

They've already removed the 89 year old rusted house-exploding crap that's inside my basement...

...which was replaced by shiny new metal stuff that's now being covered up...

...by the giant fucking backhoe, aided by the nice man in the orange vest...

...anybody know anything about planting flowers?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


I know I failed to make good my promise to write more soon.

Since I've come out and admitted it, there is no cause to criticize. I will now get out of the way, in synopsized, bulleted fashion, the innumerable (or perhaps five) events of significance that have happened which would, under normal circumstances, deserve their own blog entry, and may still, pending the opportunity, just so I may fast-forward to events so dramatic as to encompass the whole of my attention and concern, events that have not even completely transpired:

  • My flight to California - I vacationed in Huntington Beach during the end of March, visiting such close friends and compatriots as Ray Ward, Joe Farnsworth, Laurali Kinsella, Meg LaRochelle, Julie Wilcox, Chris Savino, and a handful of others. I had the time of my life.
  • My roommate Tom's mugging - Tom was attacked by a handful of kids as he was riding home on a bicycle. They ran off the porch and chased him down, attacking him and taking the ten dollars he had on his person. I hate Brooks Ave.
  • My car woes (and consolations) - Nissan Sentra II's (slight papal allusion there) health took a turn for the worse as my timing chain skipped a few teeth, rendering the car completely useless. I couldn't afford to have a garage fix it, so I'm doing it myself. My housemates are great for accommodating me with my need to be places. As soon as the car is fixed, I'll be selling it, and adopting primary utilization of Honda Accord IV shortly thereafter.
  • My plan to sell my house and move to California - What can I say? It changed my life when I went out there; every possible thing that could have fallen into place to make such a move possible, did so perfectly, to the extent that it would be wasteful not to take the opportunity to the fullest.
  • The massive standoff in my neighborhood, complete with lunatics holed up in a house with shotguns, and thirty-odd cops on the scene throwing around terms like 'kill zone'. I hate Brooks Ave.
Okay, that's the most of the biggest news in the last month and a half... now, as promised, I'm here to give you the late-breaking news today, with events still unfolding... I'm going to do this line by line, for dramatic effect:

My house is mere inches away from exploding.

Not metaphorically, more along the lines of 'gigantic fireball of natural gas-ically'.

Apparently my home has been threatening to blow us all to that great California in the sky for some time now. And the amazing part is...


So Ralph's and my comfortable slumber was interrupted earlier this morning by men in hardhats knocking on my door. Meanwhile, other men in hardhats stood in my yard pointing at my porch. They quite casually informed us of a massive gas leak on my property, and apparently had already called the police locksmithing team to grant access to my basement, since it took us a whole minute to answer the door.

I guess they thought we'd all suffocated in the night? I'm not up to speed on the likelihood of natural gas poisoning... but I digress.

They called off the police, I escorted the men to my basement, covered up all the alcohol-producing apparati and other contraband, and listened as they inspected my gas main with a cartoony-looking sniffer device clad in happy dandelion (or in retrospect, fireball) yellow, that clicked like a team of South-African tribesmen playing soccer with a Geiger counter*. Turns out they need to replace the line in my basement. This also means they need to dig a small cavern in my front yard under my porch. For Christ's sake, they brought their own stalactites. This leads me to believe RG&E plans to recoup the cost of performing this operation by turning the cavern and my basement into a tourist attraction, selling tickets for guided tours underneath my home ("...and over there is where the cat shits..."). Sons of bitches. Oh well, at least I'm not being charged for the repair.

And I forgot to mention the entirely comical part about this whole thing! First off, I don't know how the HELL they knew to come over and check out this leak; I'm not familiar with any random gas-leak teams that just drive around peoples' lawns with their windows down**... something must have tipped them off. I'll not worry about that for much longer, rather, I'll worry about the place they discovered the leak. As I mentioned, the leak originated underneath my front porch... you know, that place where everybody goes outside to smoke and eventually throw their cigarettes into the bushes? Yeah, that's the place where they had to find a fucking gas leak. At this point, I'm supposed to have one of those epiphanies, where I get a new lease on life because by my best estimation, I should have died about twenty times in the last month, and that's not counting any of the stupid shit I do away from home on a daily basis.

To put it succinctly, HOLY FUCKING FUCK!

What's interesting though, is that I have the opportunity to take pictures of the whole operation in progress, which entertains me plenty, and helps me avoid working more on my car, which has become wholly tedious. Meanwhile, I'm upstairs by the porch playing with electronics and testing lady luck like it ain't no thang.

In all honesty though, it could have been much worse... I always envisioned the day when men in hazard suits came to my home as involving them drugging and dragging me into a panel van, instead of them fixing something that broke after 89 years of faithful service.

Maybe while I have them here we can talk about fixing another pipeline with another kind of gas involved - my sewer stack is smelling mighty foul lately.

* - I'm not racially insensitive, nor am I racist or anything remotely similar. The fact of the matter is that I was referencing a recently-discovered comedic performance by one Russel Peters, who spends no small amount of time musing on the intricacies of the African clicking dialect. As my dear friend Andrey puts it, "I didn't know Indians could BE that funny!" See what I'm talking about right here: Russel Peters Stand-Up Comedy

** - It turns out that's EXACTLY what they do. Every two years or so, RG&E goes around house by house checking for gas leaks, and they found ours just in time.